By David Sexton

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In the day-to-day life of a pest control technician, daily preparation and a clear focus are the keys to a safe and successful career. One of the fastest ways for the day to be ruined is for the technician to simply grab paperwork, get in the vehicle and leave, without taking adequate time to prepare for the day’s tasks. The effects stemming from ill-preparedness are many: vehicle accidents, maintenance issues, lacking the proper tools to do the job and an inability to handle special situations that may pop up. In any of these scenarios, the level of professionalism takes a nosedive.

There are a handful of easy things a technician can do each day to assure that things will go as smoothly as possible. These include:

  1. A review of daily paperwork. This allows the technician to make sure his or her product inventory and equipment are adequate, and is able to handle any out-of-the-ordinary situations that may pop up. Be sure to check when reviewing the paperwork if you’ll be encountering anything atypical. Will you need odorless products? Baits? Organic or green products? Reviewing the paperwork now can ensure that no surprises occur in the field that day.
  2. Vehicle inspection. This involves inspecting the vehicle for safety and maintenance issues, checking tire pressure and fluid levels, adjusting mirrors, cleaning windows, and maintaining a clean and organized cab and storage area. Vehicle paperwork such as insurance, registration and driver information should be present in the glove box. Missing any of these items can affect the safety of the driver, as well as disrupt the day’s schedule.
  3. Vehicle inventory. Making sure that the vehicle is properly stocked with all of the equipment and products needed for the day (remember checking the paperwork?) is key to ensure that the technician’s day is successful.
  4. Safe driving. It is imperative that the technician remain focused while driving. With all the hazards associated with driving to an account, the technician always must remain focused on the task at hand in order to arrive at an account safely and to conduct business as usual.
  5. Client focus. The technician also must remain focused while performing the service. This involves inspection, service applications and communication with the client. Remaining focused throughout the service call ensures an air of professionalism, which goes miles in the way of client retention.

Being prepared and remaining focused throughout the day in all aspects of the job helps maintain a safer work day, and will strengthen the pest management technician’s attitude toward their career. Be ready and prepared, and be a better technician for your effort.
The author is retired technical director of Gregory Pest Solutions in Greenville, S.C. He’s a board certified entomologist and currently works for Gregory as a consultant. He’s a member of the Copesan Technical Committee and can be reached at